The Hurricanes brought some pace in the opening minutes, putting five shots on net while keeping Arizona shotless in the first five minutes. But after that, things were cold for the Hurricanes who really showed no exciting opportunities for the next 15 minutes.
The Hurricanes had a great chance to put themselves on the board early in the second after Jeff Skinner was hooked on a breakaway by Luke Schenn and awarded a penalty shot. But even the Carolina leading goal scorer couldn’t find the back of the net, throwing a wrist shot wide of the net.
The same wasn’t true for the Coyotes’ leading goal scorer, rookie Clayton Keller. Halfway through the second period, Justin Faulk turned the puck over to Brad Richardson, and he dished it across the crease to Keller in one of the more beautiful passes I’ve seen from the Coyotes this season.
He's not a regular rookie.— #YotesFightCancer (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 5, 2017
He's Rookie of the Month. pic.twitter.com/CSg5Oor6C6
Bill Peters said the Hurricanes looked much better in the third period, but it took until almost the end of the period for Jordan Staal to tie it up and give the Hurricanes some hope on an altogether hopeless night. Like the Keller goal, this one was all about the pass. Sebastian Aho glided the puck to the left side of the net and swung the puck hard across the the front of the crease, finding Staal open on the other side.
Three seconds into overtime, Staal nearly put the Hurricanes in the win column with a couple backhand attempts at the crease, but neither could beat the right leg of Raanta.
Raanta also nearly put himself on the IR, rushing to beat Derek Ryan to a puck well away from the net, but crisis averted I guess, though he took a hard lick off Ryan’s shoulder.
All in all, the Hurricanes easily won the possession battle in overtime and gave themselves a handful of scoring chances (including Lindholm winning a faceoff, passing it ahead to himself and missing high with only Raanta in front of him). Domi also could have ended it for the Coyotes, to be fair, but that was a one off.
So shootout it is, and Carolina really showed why it can’t score. Slavin tries yet another backhand move that Raanta reads perfectly. Brock McGinn nets one, and it was a pretty nice off-leg toss. But Ryan with a straight wrister? No finesse, no nothing? Also, why Ryan to close it out?
Stepan technically had the game winner, but just watch some more of Keller’s magic (10 goals and 16 points leads rookies, btw).
A lot of question marks and more agony arise from the shootout, and offensively, some of the same question marks overall as before. I’m still sitting here wondering when Aho is going to do anything remotely similar to last year’s rookie campaign. Better yet, what will it take to get any goals, even power play goals? 1 for 17 in the last seven games. Pitiful.
However, I do want to say it’s always neat to see an NHL debut, and Roland McKeown stepped up with three blocked shots (though the interference didn’t help).
One final thought: I think the secret weapon for the Coyotes was the new assistant coach.